Ambassador William Walker, U.S. Department of State, On-the-record briefing on the Kosovo Verification Mission, 8 January 1999


Released by the Office of the Spokesman, Washington, DC, January 8, 1999

Ambassador Walker:  I, too, wish to thank you for coming to see me.
Let me just begin by reminding everyone in the room that even though I
was introduced as the head of OSCE, I am a serving career Foreign
Service Officer; but in my present capacity, I guess I'm speaking on
behalf of the OSCE in Vienna and the KVM mission in Pristina.

Let me just say a few things about what we think we've accomplished so
far; where we are in terms of the build-up; what we think has been the
record vis-a-vis compliance by the parties; and then maybe a couple of
points on the security issue, which is something of concern; and then
maybe a little bit about the road ahead, and then open it up for
questions.  I won't take more than a minute on each one of these.

We do think we've accomplished something since we got there.  We've
been there two months now.  I arrived the first week in November, so
I've been there two months.  We think that we have played, I don't know
how significant a role, but a role in calming things down when they've
gotten a bit tight.  I think the KVM along with -- and this is very
important to emphasize -- the KDOM presence that was there before,
especially the US KDOM, which was by far the biggest and the most
active -- I think they did, and we have helped, to avoid that human
catastrophe that people were predicting, the humanitarian catastrophe.
It has not materialized.

Winter has set in in Pristina, as it has in Washington, and things have
been quite bad in terms of the winter that they've already experienced.
But thanks largely to the effort of the KDOMs and the NGOs that are
there, as well as our presence when we got there, I think we have done
quite a bit to, as I say, avoid that humanitarian catastrophe.  There
are very few people, if any, living under canvas.  Not everyone is in
their own house, but most people have been able to go to some shelter.
As I say, the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people
who were thought to going to be either starving or either freezing to
death in the mountains, that has not come to pass.

Violence, as I'm sure you will be asking me about, has broken out,
especially in the last few weeks, going on as we speak today.  But the
KDOMs and the KVM have been able to insert themselves in those
situations -- most of which were quite localized, in fact, all of them
were localized -- and have been able to contain them.  I think there
have been some very brave people who have put themselves at
considerable risk by going into these situations.  But we have managed
to talk to both sides and convince them to separate and not go on with
the violence.

The build up -- we are presently somewhere in excess of 600 people on
the ground.  We thought we could bring in people a bit faster.  I think
the last time I was here, I thought that by the end of January we would
have built up to full strength.  It's probably going to take a few more
weeks.  I'm not sure what that full strength number is going to be.
The agreement calls for 2,000.  That was a number that was pretty
arbitrarily reached.  We are bringing in probably 100 to 150 a week
now.  We will, I hope, know when we have reached sort of the saturation
point, when we have enough people in there to do the tasks that have
been assigned to us.

We have opened up three regional centers out of the five that we
planned to open.  The other two we expect to open in the next week or
so -- one being opened tomorrow, isn't that right, Mike?  The final one
will be opened the day that the new chairman in office, the Foreign
Minister of Norway, gets to Pristina, which is on the 12th of this
month, January.

As I say, I think we have convinced ourselves -- I don't know if we've
convinced anyone else -- but we certainly think that the verifiers on
the ground in their present numbers have been able to do a good bit in
terms of containing violence and talking people out of further
violence.   Obviously, we feel that when we get more verifiers on the
ground  -- especially when we get them out to the regional centers and
then beyond to the villages where we're going to put them in large
numbers -- their very presence, the fact that they're patrolling in
these rather bright orange vehicles, we have been told by good numbers
of local residents of both ethnicities that the very presence of these
vehicles makes them feel a bit more secure.

In terms of compliance with the agreement, I think the results have
certainly been mixed.  I think in some areas we could say that some
parts of the MUPP and the VJ, some parts of the KLA have tried to obey
the cease-fire, have tried to do things in terms of cooperating with
the mission, in terms of, as I say, complying with agreements in the
agreements.

But where are the mixed results?  I think we can look to both sides and
say there have been instances of non-compliance on both sides.  In our
view, the majority of the instances of non-compliance have emanated
from the government side.  But that is also perhaps a function of the
fact that we have asked more of them.  When I say that they're not
cooperating in terms of landing rights for planes that might be
bringing in supplies or quibbles at the border over customs, this sort
of thing, those are things you ask for from a government; you don't ask
that from the KLA.

We have been quite upset, I would say, in terms of the words of
cooperation emanating from the government.  Their words are very ample
in terms of they want to cooperate 100% with our mission so that we can
get on with our mandate.  But in terms of implementing those words, I
think we would have to say we are less than satisfied.  There have been
any number of areas in which we have made requests of the government
and the answer has been, that is not in the agreement, it is not
specifically spelled out in the agreement; therefore, you can't have
it.  If you want some details on that, I'd be glad to go into it.

As I say, compliance on both sides -- we are watching, we are trying to
determine the reality of what they say they are doing or not doing.
That is our principal task; that's why we're called verifiers.  The
results today have been mixed.  We hope they will improve, but both
sides have a ways to go.

The road ahead -- I think, as I said, we've already accomplished a good
bit in the short term, but I'd have to admit that we face daunting
problems in terms of not only continuing that progress but amplifying
it, and make both sides understand that the only way to any sort of a
rational solution in Kosovo is for the situation to become stabilized,
for the shooting to stop, and for Chris Hill to get on with the
negotiation process and try to reach a political settlement among the
various parties.

We've got a certain amount of both confidence in the mission among the
local populations, as well as a certain amount of suspicion as to our
motives.  We are trying to demonstrate that, one, we are impartial;
we're not in there trying to take sides, but we're going to call them
as we see them.  And we will certainly report that conclusion to the
OSCE in Vienna, who will then convey that to the member states,
including this government, and as well to the United Nations via the
Secretary General of the United Nations.

So, that's sort of where we're at right now -- trying to build up.  The
phrase I use is we're up and running, but maybe not we're running,
we're up and walking, and we hope to be running within the next few
weeks.  It's a dangerous place; it's very risky.  I think that people
who are coming there, coming in unarmed under the agreement -- and all
of our people are unarmed -- makes a very dangerous situation, as I've
said.  And the quote in the papers as recently as today, we're probably
the only people in Kosovo who do not carry side arms of some sort, if
not bigger weapons.  So, we're hoping that is somehow going to protect
us from those with weapons.

In the recent days, there have been demonstrations in the streets,
blockages, mostly by the Serb side of the equation.  We're told that a
good number of those people in those demonstrations are armed.  And
it's very tough to ask verifiers who are unarmed to go up against them
and try to push their way through those blockades; but we will continue
to try and fulfill our mandate.

With that, let me throw it open -- George, I just knew you were going
to have a question, what's up?

Question:  Well, remember I bumped into you yesterday, and I talked
about the importance of getting something before the warm weather hits?
How urgent is it that substantial progress be made before the warm
weather hits, lest the fighting start all over again?

Ambassador Walker:  I think it's very important to get the maximum
number, the optimum number, I guess, of verifiers in there as quickly
as possible, and that's what we're trying to do.  I think it's
anybody's guess.  The conventional wisdom is that come the melting of
the snows, or maybe even before, that a more significant outbreak of
violence will occur.  I don't know if that conventional wisdom is true
or not.  I think if we can get enough people in there, as I say,
running around in these orange vehicles; if we can get into the
outbreaks when they occur at a local level, at a small level of
violence and maybe try to talk people into knocking it off, we do have
a good chance of being able to avert some of that catastrophe of
violence much as we have been able to avert the humanitarian
catastrophe that people were predicting.

All right, good to see you, how are you doing?  Long time.

Question:  Well, I have a question about the OSCE's capacity to
actually verify facts that occur during its presence.  If you take the
incident of a couple of weeks ago, which almost led to it looked like
full hostilities, the events in Pec and in Kosovo Polje --these murders
that the KLA was immediately accused of responsibility for, which they
immediately denied.  My question, though, is whether you know what
happened; whether, if you don't know, do you have the capacity to
investigate; if you don't have the capacity to investigate, how do you
get to the bottom of things which will lead to other things?  I mean,
these incidents are not minor incidents.

Ambassador Walker:  Do we have the capacity to know who did this?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  Do we have the capacity to go in and do
investigations ourselves?  Not in the terms that you might be thinking
about going in and doing a full-blown police criminal investigation,
no.  I think with enough people on the ground, we might not be able to
make those determinations in every case, but we will certainly be able
to, I think, make those determinations in certain cases.

During the violence -- I thought you were talking about the more
dramatic violence in Podujevo, where the KLA was on one side of a row
of ridges and on the other side the VJ and the MUPP was pretty well dug
in with some tanks and some armored personnel carriers.  It was kept
localized, I think, by our efforts; but it could have gotten much
worse.

We put people in both command posts and they stayed there through the
night, 24 hours a day, to determine if, in fact, someone started
shooting, who had started the shooting.  Now, that's not the same as
being at a murder scene before the murder occurs, because usually you
don't get that sort of advanced warning.

We will do our best to determine who has done what to whom by whatever
methods we can employ -- be they personal observation, be they talking
to people, interviewing people, be they using intelligence sources.
Whatever it takes to try to get to the bottom of these things we will
try.  Will we succeed in all cases?  Probably not.  You and I both know
the situation in Central America when it was tit-for-tat violence, and
you never quite knew who started it, you never quite knew who was
responsible for almost anything.

But you can get a fairly good general idea.  We never had anything like
2,000 verifiers in El Salvador.

Question:  In this particular case, the (inaudible) events followed
almost immediately onto these  (inaudible).  The versions of what
happened are so completely different.  I am not diametrically opposed
with the KLA's totally denying and the government accusing them.  I'm
just wondering how do you, or have you gotten to the bottom of these?
Do you have any idea, in fact, who's responsible in those cases?
Because that's the kind of thing that would lead to another
confrontation, and probably will.

Ambassador Walker:  No, to answer those two specific cases, the
spraying of a bar in Pec in which seven or eight young men were killed
while playing pool, as well as the rather brutal assassination of the
deputy mayor in Kosovo Polje, no, I don't think we do know with any
degree of certainty who did it.  But it did lead to this escalation, as
you say, which a week or so later was the stand off in Podujevo.  There
were some people who were almost absolutely convinced that somehow the
government had orchestrated some part of that earlier stuff so they
could move tanks and armored personnel vehicles against some villages
up near Podujevo.

Now, they told us they were off on a training exercise.  I think we saw
through that, as most other people saw through it.

But to answer the question specifically -- those two incidences -- no,
I don't think we know.  In terms of the Podujevo thing, I said several
times both sides were out looking for trouble and both sides found in
it Podujevo .

Question:  Mr. Ambassador, will you say a little bit about the kinds of
people who have joined this mission now?  Are they diplomatic people,
military people?  What kind of training do they have; what do they
bring to bear when these incidents of violence break out, and what are
their instructions?

Ambassador Walker:  Most of us are brave, handsome, very intelligent --

(Laughter.)

Question:  In addition to that.  I know that.  If you'll take that
baseline above that --

Ambassador Walker:  We have various backgrounds.  We have various
things we're going to try and verify.  We are trying to bring people in
somewhat proportion, in terms of numbers, to what the tasks are.

At the beginning, we brought in more who had military backgrounds,
because trying to determine where the tanks were, the APCs were, where
the units were and what it all meant required some people who knew
about those things.

We are bringing in a good number of people right now who have police
backgrounds, because we're hoping to get involved very much in terms of
local policing.  We are also starting off with good numbers -- we're
trying to find them -- it's a little more difficult in this case, but
finding people with human rights background, many of them experienced
in Bosnia doing human rights things, humanitarian assistance background
this sort of thing; because we've got chores for them to do as well.

We are giving everybody a very short but intense training program of
about four or five days when they come in the country, telling them
first what the OSCE is -- what they've joined up to -- but also some of
the other things that we think are necessary; mine awareness being one
of the things.  As I say, it's a very dangerous environment, and you've
got to give people a modicum of knowledge about how dangerous it is.

But we're bringing in people of many, many backgrounds.  And we're
finding that the OSCE gets its people through secondness by member
states.  So you're not always quite sure what you're getting, because
it's usually based on a CV.  But we're finding out that many of the CVs
do not really contain a wealth of knowledge about the person, and when
they get there we find out they've got other things in their background
that are equally of use.  So it's a mixed bag, but I think it's a bag
that's going to be very useful as we proceed.

Question:  Can I follow up?  Do you have a breakdown by nationality,
approximately?

Ambassador Walker:  No, I don't.  Most of the Contact Group countries
have made promises of up to 200.  I think the US has made a promise of
about 200; Germany has; France has; I think the UK has.  All the other
countries -- you go to down to the countries the size of Luxembourg,
they want to put in about seven or eight people, some of the smaller
countries.  There are 30-some countries making contributions, some of
large dimension, some of quite small dimension.  But I don't have an
exact breakdown.  I don't know if anybody over here does or not.

Mike, do you?  We put it out almost every day.

Question:  At this point, the majority of them have prior military
background?

Ambassador Walker:  No.

Question:  Or police?

Ambassador Walker: No, I don't think there is a natural majority of
backgrounds.  Sizable numbers have military backgrounds; a lesser
number, but also a sizable number, have police backgrounds.  Then we're
bringing in people with election experience, setting up elections in
some of these places where elections have been monitored or supervised
by the international community, human rights, humanitarian assistance.
It's really quite a kaleidoscope of experiences.

Question:  Speaking of national differences, this week the French Prime
Minister Jospin made some comments blaming most of the trouble in
Kosovo on the Kosovar Albanian side.  Is there a complete difference of
perspectives on the situation there, depending on where you're coming
from?  How do you explain those comments?

Ambassador Walker:  I find hard to explain that particular comment.
But all I've seen is the quote in the newspapers; what the context was
in which it was said, I have no idea.  If it was purely a statement as
portrayed -- that the KLA is essentially totally responsible for recent
violence -- I would disagree with it quite emphatically.

Question:  Has there been any response to the -- or any sort of
official contesting of that?

Ambassador Walker:  I was going to say, I'm in Washington; so I'm out
of the loop.  You all understand that comment.  I'm a little removed
from that particular statement and what happened as a result of it.  I
really don't understand it if it is as portrayed.

Question:  You would say that, in fact, that fault lies more with the
Yugoslavs, wouldn't you say?

Ambassador Walker:  Yes, I would say from the events of last summer and
into the fall, from the way this government, which has responsibility
for treating the people of Kosovo equally and indiscriminately, they do
not perform those tasks very well.  I think much of the genesis of the
violence derives from that particular lack of decent governance in
Kosovo.

Question:  Do you have any sense of what extent you've been able to cut
off the arms smuggling across the Albanian border?

Ambassador Walker:  Not really our task.  The sides agreed to a cease-
fire.  Nevertheless, the UCK got caught in a very tragic incident when
39 of their people were ambushed on the border, coming across with
arms.  I think it's pretty plain that that's what they were doing.
There's an instance which we heard -- we were notified that there had
been this killing of a good number of Albanians up on the border.  We
got our people up there very, very quickly in a very remote area of the
border in very heavy winter conditions.  They got up there a few hours
after it had happened and were able to verify who these people were and
what they were and how they had died.  I think we verified that they
were coming across the border quite heavily armed and, obviously,
looking for or prepared for trouble.

Whether or not we have a role to play in terms of what you just asked,
I don't know.  We're going to try and establish a liaison office in
Tirana.  We will also try to establish -- in fact, we will be
establishing an office in Montenegro soon and do some verifying in
Montenegro.  We will probably put some people as close to the border as
we can to see what the reality is in terms of these tales -- it's a
wide open border with arms coming across.  At this point in time, I do
not know what the accuracy of that is.

Question:  In that case, were you able to have, or is anybody able to
have access to the people who have been arrested?  I think there were
some survivors in that ambush.

Ambassador Walker:  We were able, by the fact that we got up there very
quickly and our people go up with cameras, we took pictures both of the
bodies on the ground and of seven prisoners.  It turns out there were,
I think, nine or more prisoners taken; a couple were taken in later
action.  We have asked for access to those prisoners; immediately we
asked for it.  The answer was essentially no, it's not in the
agreement.  My answer to that was, you told us about the incident, you
told us that it was the KLA coming across in an armed incursion --
fine, that's your story.  We went up and looked at the scene.  Now, we
would like to talk to the other side to see if there's another version.
That's how we are going to get to the truth of what happened.

They then said -- this is the government -- then said well, there's a
judicial process that has to be gone through; you will have to ask for
permission through the Ministry of Justice or through the prosecutor
and maybe we'll give you access later, but the answer to date is no.

Question:  Was the KLA any better on that?

Ambassador Walker:  Well, I was able to participate in a negotiation
process with the KLA in which we asked them to release a couple of
journalists -- Serb journalists -- from the national wire service.
They were nice enough to do that and throw in a couple of Albanian
local political figures, who they thought were traitors for
participating in the local political process.

So, we got four released by the KLA, and I said to the UCK commander,
who turned them over to me, I hope this is the first step; I hope the
government will reciprocate.  But they have not as yet.

Question:  Do they now accept the rules of war, such as they are
drafted in the Geneva Convention and elsewhere, about not kidnapping
civilians, not torturing, not executing non-combatants?

Ambassador Walker:  Well, this is the Balkans we're talking about,
remember that.  They claim they do.  During the Podujevo stand-off when
I went up to talk to the UCK field commander, he told me that they were
respectable combatants, that they didn't kidnap, they didn't take
hostages, they didn't kill civilians, which he claimed the government
did all of the above.

The next day in a nearby village, a 65-year-old civilian man was
killed, a Serb.  He was the only Serb living in that village, we were
told.  When we asked about it, we were told that he had fired on them.
My comment to that was, he must be a very brave Serb in the middle of
an Albanian village, surrounded by the UCK, to fire at the UCK.  But
they admitted they had killed this 60-some-year-old civilian.

They thought they were justified; they claimed they were justified
because he'd been firing at them.  But they claim -- as I say, they
tell us that they essentially observe international standards of
warfare.

Question:  How do you explain the unexpectedly slow rate -- the time
it's taking to get the verification mission up to strength?  Do you
think this indicates any kind of lack of political interest in the -

Ambassador Walker:  Not at all, not at all.

Question:  What is it, then?

Ambassador Walker:  Well, I don't know if you've ever tried to stand up
a 1,500-person unit which has no precedent by a parent organization and
has never done anything of anywhere equal size or complexity in a part
of the world that has very minimal capacity to absorb people pouring
in, in the middle of winter, in an employment system in which
governments have to offer up their people, their CVs have to be
reviewed, they have to be paired up with the needs of the mission.  You
have to get some vehicles in there to get them around; you have to get
some modern office equipment; you have to hire places to give them
office space.  It is a very, very complex process.  I would challenge
any institution to do it any faster, given those conditions.

I don't know how many of you have been to Pristina, but it is really
quite a remote part of the world with very little infrastructure.  When
we got there we had no telephones, far less computers and that sort of
stuff.  Almost everything had to be flown in from Norway, which was the
lead country.

The last time I watched the OSCE try to put together a mission which
was one-tenth the size and at that point was the largest mission they
had ever tried to field was in Croatia in early 1998.  They were going
for a maximum of a little over 200 people.  I saw them work on it for
six months, and at the end of six months they hadn't come anywhere near
to that 200 figure.  So this is something ten times bigger.  It is four
times bigger than all the other OSCE missions put together.  The OSCE
has a Secretariat like 40 people in Vienna.  We have had to stand up
next to that Secretariat almost our own support unit; again, bringing
in seconded people from all the governments of Europe to try and make
this thing move very fast.  We think we have gone at lightning speed.
I know that is not the public perception.  But it is not an easy task
to stand up that size a mission in that part of the world any faster.

Question:  If you had a free hand on this matter, would you, in fact,
recommend that some of the verifiers do carry side arms?

Ambassador Walker:  No.  Obviously it's in the agreement 2,000 unarmed
verifiers, and I went in under that condition.

Question:  So, if this came up for review, would you recommend that
some of them -

Ambassador Walker:  I think we could have a few people with side arms;
it would be helpful, yes.  But I don't think you necessarily have to
arm all these people going out to the regions.  I think a side arm,
when confronting people with much heavier weaponry, really doesn't do
you much good unless you really know how to use it.  A lot of the
verifiers we have coming in do not have military backgrounds, have not
used weapons before.  So I'd be hesitant to recommend that everyone
carry a weapon.

Question:  That's a good segue into the NATO extraction force.  Can you
talk about that?  Under what conditions -

Ambassador Walker:  Can I or will I?  Yes, I can, sorry.

Question:  Under what conditions do they come in, do you feel like you
-- how does that work?

Ambassador Walker:  The extraction force has been put in place by NATO.
The OSCE and NATO have reached an agreement -- unprecedented agreement
-- between those two institutions.  They have stood up a fairly
substantial body of troops, multinational in character down in
Macedonia.  It is sort of an insurance policy should any of our people
be involved in an in extremes situation, really threatening our
peoples' lives.  Obviously, the security, the safety of our people is
of paramount importance to us -- not only to Vienna and to the
contributing countries that have sent these people, but obviously I
feel a great deal of responsibility for 2,000, or whatever the number
is, of people that have come in to do a peace-making operation unarmed
and with fairly limited resources to do it and putting themselves in
harm's way.  So, I feel very strongly that we need something like the
extraction force as an insurance policy, and that's what it is.

Question:  Do you know when they could intervene?

Ambassador Walker:  I mean, there are all sorts of scenarios you could
point from a few people getting in trouble to a generally hostile
environment developing for one or another reason and all variations in
between.  It is very hard to say, here's the line and beyond that line
we will ask the extraction force to do something.  If I see my people
in real danger, life-threatening danger, I will certainly call NATO and
ask them what they can do for us.

Question:  So, you don't necessarily see the deployment of this force,
then, as bringing about or precipitating the end of the mission?  I
mean, that would not signify failure; you would not necessarily have to
entirely dismantle the verifications or sort of thing.

Ambassador Walker:  No -- as I say, we're talking about any number of
possible scenarios that might trigger the need to get people out of
trouble.  In some of them, maybe you can get them out by yourself --
maybe you can just tell them to get in their vehicles and get the hell
out of there.  In other more threatening situations -- I mean, everyone
would be different and you have to decide at the time.

Question:  Based on what you've seen, what would be the reaction of the
Yugoslav forces to the presence of NATO troops?

Ambassador Walker:  Based on what I've seen, I don't know.  Based on
what I've heard, Mr. Milosevic has certainly gone on record as what he
thinks of that force.

Question:  The French Defense Minister also said on Sunday that if the
violence escalated, he did not rule out a pull-out by NATO of all peace
monitors.  I mean, what's your reaction to that, and what's your
assessment?

Ambassador Walker:  As I say, I really don't know the context and
exactly what he said.  I haven't pursued it.  I think you'd have to ask
him as to exactly what he was talking about.

If the violence increases, you might be talking about the violence
going to all-out war, which obviously would make us take another look
at what we're doing and how we're doing it and whether we can do what
we consented to do.  But we will soldier on until we make a
determination that it's impossible to go ahead with the mandate  Then
we'll take a look at it then.

Question:  On the KLA, have you seen an increase in the level of
sophistication of their weaponry during winter?  What type of weapons
did you see, do you now see that they have? Where do you think that
they're getting them?

Ambassador Walker:  I haven't been there long enough to be able to say
before and after.  I have been told by those who have been there longer
than I that they are better dressed, they are better equipped, their
weaponry looks newer.  The times I have run into a KLA units -- maybe
they've known I was coming -- but they've looked pretty spiffy in terms
of -- they reminded me quite often of FMLN crack units watching me go
by and doing the present arms sort of thing.  But I don't know how they
were six months ago or a year ago.

Where are they getting it?  God knows.  I really don't know.  I wish I
did.

Question:  Mostly old Soviet stuff?

Ambassador Walker:  I don't think so; not that we've seen.

Question:  Is there a single chain of command for the various national
groups?  Do they operate under the same set of rules?  There's rumors
that the Americans have to be in by dark; others operate more freely
after dark.

Ambassador Walker:  No, others in by dark is a US-KDOM regulation,
rule, whatever you want to call it.  As an international organization,
we are sort of designing our own as we go right now, and we are taking
a look at those rules the various KDOMs operated under.  I think we
will be more likely to let people be out after dark if the mission
requires it.  We might have a rule that says you can be out after dark
if you're in a stationary position but not running up and down the road
and maybe someone won't quite know what you're doing out there and take
a shot at you.  We will be putting people into villages after dark and
having them stay there, which is a little different from the way the
KDOMs have been doing it.

Question:  With this Iraq and UNSCOM thing that have become sort of an
issue lately as far as Americans seconded to international inspection
groups, are you all -- I doubt you'll answer it -- are you all
conducting any of the kind of activities as far as spying -- (laughter)
-- use your own word -- that have become so newsworthy?

Ambassador Walker:  I hope everyone on my mission is trying to gather
as much intelligence as they possibly can.  Are we scooping it up and
sending it through various pipes?  No; we are reporting what we have to
the OSCE in --

Question:  Are you reporting it back to Washington?

Ambassador Walker:  A lot of it comes back to Washington, but it goes
to all the capitals, member states of the --

Question:  And does everything go to everybody, or is there stuff that
comes to Washington that doesn't go to the others?

Ambassador Walker:  That I don't know.  How much, who everybody is and
where they send letters to home, I don't know.

Question:  I guess the Americans  -- (inaudible) --

Ambassador Walker:  Pardon?

Question:  (Inaudible.)

Ambassador Walker:  Yes, we report to Vienna.  I mean, that's a simple
answer.  Do I keep in contact with the American Embassies in the
region, sure.  I also keep in contact with the embassies of the Contact
Group nations, of contributing states who call up and want to know
what's going on.  I share as much as I have with them.

Question:  Okay, thank you.

Ambassador Walker:  Yes, thanks a lot.
121/8/99


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